Industrialization is not only an engine for employment, wealth and technical skill, but also vital for an economically viable and prosperous society. The State Government is according highest priority to infrastructure and industrial development by creating an enabling environment for industrial development. For this, the Government is ensuring effective use of resources such as land, water, energy and green technologies. The State has established itself as a proven destination for Textile, Pharma, Food Processing, Engineering, Paper and Packaging industries.

The main endeavour of the Government is to establish Himachal Pradesh as a model industrial hill State that promotes industrial growth through sustainable inclusive development, generating income and employment opportunities, and encouraging skill development, all in harmony with the State’s environment and ecology. The Government is promoting micro, small, medium and large industries with emphasis on eco-compatible and local resource based industries. This is turn is creating opportunities of employment and increasing the share of industries in the State Gross Domestic Product.

Today, the State has over 39512 industrial units with an investment of about Rs. 17165.54 crore and employment of about 2.76 lakh persons. To facilitate the entrepreneurs, the State Government has set up State Level Single Window Clearance Authority, headed by the Chief Minister, where all clearances are accorded to them under one roof. In order to facilitate the entrepreneurs, the clearances by the Authority are now being given within a period of 90 days of receiving the application. The Authority has so far held 67 meetings and cleared 922 new projects with an investment of Rs. 31564.08 crore and employment potential to about 188429 persons. During the tenure of the present State Government 13 New Industrial Projects worth Rs 866.62 crore investments approved by the Single Window Clearance and Monitoring Authority.

The State government is making conscious effort to follow an infrastructure development strategy. The capital subsidy scheme that stood expired on 7th January, 2013 has been extended to 31st March, 2017 and a more liberal freight subsidy scheme had been introduced in place of the earlier transport central subsidy scheme. The Government is also effectively pursuing the Centre to extend the industrial package for the State till 2020.

Regional Centre of Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) would be set up for studies of Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) with a cost of Rs. 50 crore at Shimla. The Institute would ensure capacity building, especially for small and medium enterprise. The State Government would provide 5 acre land for setting up the Regional Center. An amount of Rs 30 crore has been announced by the Union Government for this as block grant for the first year which would be followed by annual grants of Rs 10 crore.

As many as six projects have been cleared by the Union Government for the State under Assistance to State for Infrastructure Development for Export and Allied Services (ASIDE) of more than Rs. 94 crores for upgradation of industrial infrastructure in the State. These include Rs. 26.89 crore Ware House Project for exporting units located in Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh area, Rs. 8.09 crore composite Testing Lab for Pharma Products at Export cluster Baddi, Rs. 11.23 crore for setting up Container Parking Facility for exporting units in Baddi Barotiwala area, Rs. 12.34 crore development of electrical Infrastructure at Industrial Area Kala-Amb in Sirmour district, 16.05 crore for Up-gradation of Power Supply in EPIP Phase-I, EPIP Phase-II and outside area at Baddi where Export Oriented Units are located and Rs. 20 crore for setting up of Common Effluent Treatment Plant for exporting units at Industrial Area. Kala-Amb in Sirmour district. Out of these six projects, the Union Government has approved two Projects for the State which includes Rs 11.23 crore for construction of Container Parking at Baddi and Rs 12.34 crore for development of electrical infrastructure at Industrial Area Kala Amb.

Container Parking Facility for exporting units in Baddi Barotiwala area would provide parking facility for over 100 Containers. The office of Central Excise Department would be also being established here and after verification, the containers would be sealed for direct freight to different ports. Till date, they are being freighted to Kolkata, where tax is being levied for the goods being exported.

A Mini Tool Room would be set up at Baddi and the Union Government would be spending an amount of Rs 100 crore for construction of this Tool Room. The State Government has transferred 102 bighas of land to the Government of India for establishing this Tool Room. Over 15000 square meter land had already been allotted to the Special Purpose Vehicle constituted for the purpose. This would provide tooling facilities to the industry and also help in skill development of unemployed youth. In addition, a Pharma and Allied Industries Cluster Project are being implemented at Baddi at an estimated cost of Rs. 80.50 crore.

A Technical Training Institute for skill up gradation development has been constructed at Baddi in Solan district by spending an amount of Rs. 8.10 crore. This would ensure trained manpower to the industry as per their demand and needs.

The State Government is committed to ensure rapid industrialization of the State, but it is also being ensured that the salubrious and pristine environment of the State is not damaged by unplanned industrial and other activities. All these concerted efforts being initiated by the State Government would open up new vistas for the investors and make the State buzz with industrial activities.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.